Teresa is upside down in a handstand looking like she's 20 instead of 50.

50 and Fabulous: Teresa’s Story
Written by Teresa James and Kelly Sekulovski

Feeling fabulous at fifty

Meet Teresa James, the Membership Director at the Invictus Seattle location. Teresa is about to turn 50 this month (woo-hoo). While this birthday might seem like a big deal to some, Teresa isn’t phased at all. 

“I remember my parents turning 50 and thinking they were ‘old’,” said Teresa. “And here I am at that same age and I can’t believe it because I sure don’t feel old! Maybe it’s because I’m the strongest and healthiest I’ve ever been despite injuries and recent surgeries. Why? A lot of it has to do with Invictus Programming.”

Training smart

Teresa started CrossFit eleven years ago, and has used many different training programs. Most of them caused niggles and issues due to overuse, overtraining, lack of warm-up/cool downs, lack of accessory work. She tried to push through anyways, the way most CrossFitters are wired to do. This eventually would lead to injury, which can be an unfortunate cycle without thoughtful training.  

“Then, in 2020, I joined the Invictus coaching team and discovered the Invictus dual track program. I solely workout in group classes, and I move back and forth between Performance and Fitness, sometimes melding the two. It all depends upon the day’s intention and how I’m feeling that day. I’m able to continue moving safely while improving across all levels due to CJ’s stellar programming, options for modification of movements, and built-in time for warm-up.” 

Recovery from injuries

Teresa is a walking testimonial that the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the Invictus programming, even while facing adversity due to genetically predisposed injuries. After some recurring hip issues in 2021, she had both hips replaced within the last 18 months, two major surgeries that can require major recovery periods and seriously derail a training regimen. 

“During my pre-surgery appointments, I passed all tests (blood work, blood pressure, EKG) with flying colors. I was able to modify and substitute movements in every workout to keep moving up until the day before surgery. Hours after surgery, I was up moving, with a walker. At home, I was able to move independently (thank you upper body strength and single leg balance!) and heal quickly due to the strength and fitness base I’d developed pre-surgery.” 

Typically the recovery period before resuming exercise after a hip replacement in 4-6 weeks. But due to her training, Teresa was not the typical patient. “With clearance from my surgeon and physical therapist, I returned to group class 3 ½ weeks after surgery and will continue to modify workouts, doing what I can, until I’m fully recovered.” 

Training through it all 

Now Teresa has two brand new hips and more motivation than ever to continue with her training as she’s seen just how beneficial it can be for overall health.  

“I’m physical proof that no matter what life throws at you, you can keep moving safely and improve your fitness. Through injuries, surgeries, aging, and fluctuating fitness, the Invictus dual programming track works, and it can work for you too.”

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